Re: RE: [Videolib] Digital Video Licensing[Scanned]

Vicki Lee Woods (
Thu, 8 Mar 2007 15:10:55 -0600 (CST)

I'd worry about what happens when a title isn't downloaded and as often
as the vendor thinks is necessary to continue to "stock it" so to
speak. Not to mention all the titles that will never make it into the
library because there just isn't that much demand for them; such as
works by Alan Berliner or Craig Baldwin, etc. I also have a fear that
VOD vendors would/could monitor what each institution is downloading
and charge premium rates for those titles that are most used,
essentially holding institutions hostage for higher rates.

All of what you said, Gary, makes perfect sense to me and needs to be
thought through very carefully. I don't think it's likely that any of
the distributors will offer a one-time fee; they're clearly modeling
their distribution plans on cable networks and ejournals. But as you
pointed out, ejournals are continously being written. Perhaps some sort
of plan that would include a tangible copy of the title (for those who
don't want to learn the new technology) as well as VOD might work for
the near future.

Vicki Woods
Assistant Branch Manager, St. Louis Public Library
Former Film Programmer of the Webster Film Series

Mark Kopp wrote:

>"...It is, consequently, unclear to me why I would be expected to
>"re-buy" the same title every year or two or three in digital form,..."
>I have been arguing that same lunacy for years!. I think that some in
>the industry thought they hit some kind of lottery, and have accused
>them thusly, regarding that model. I can promise, there are NO materials
>in our collection with any such agreement, i.e. re-buying each year or
>so. Heck, I don't even have the human resources to maintain those types
>of licenses. Imagine buying a car or furniture or appliances, based on
>that model!!
>Mark W. Kopp
>Technology Assistant
>IT Department
>Appalachia Intermediate Unit 8
>4500 6th Avenue
>Altoona, PA 16602
>P: 814-940-0223
>F: 814-949-0984
>C: 814-937-2802
>[] On Behalf Of Gary Handman
>Sent: Thursday, March 08, 2007 1:08 PM
>Subject: [Videolib] Digital Video Licensing[Scanned]
>Some Thoughts on Digital Licensing for Video
>Because Berkeley is on the cusp of trying out on-demand delivery of
>portions of its video collection, I've been doing a lot of talking and
>thinking about the issue of digital licensing of video content. It is
>apparent that the non-theatrical VOD marketplace is, at very best,
>immature and confused (and confusing) regarding economic models for VOD
>delivery. A number of models seem to be shaking out:
>A. Content maintained on vendor's remote server and licensed annually
>or semi-annually based on number of titles selected, institutional
>head-count, or number of synchronous users. I'm not aware of any
>vendors offering flat annual licenses for unlimited institutional access
>to vendor-maintained VOD servers.
>B. Content encoded by vendor in one or more of several formats (Windows
>Media, QuickTime, mpeg4, etc.), and licensed for in-perpetuity use for a
>flat fee (e.g. Films Media Group). Variable licensing fees based on
>whether or not the institution has bought the licensed title in previous
>formats (tape or DVD). In some instances, fees may be based on number
>of titles licensed. In this model, client is responsible for uploading
>and maintaining these files on local server. (Client may also be
>required to transcode files-e.g. from mpeg4 to a streamable format).
>C. Above model but with term licensing: licensing for a set period of
>time, usually one to five years. At the end of the term, licenses must
>be renegotiated.
>D. Distributor offers digital licensing rights alone-i.e. without
>supplying the source files. Institution is responsible for encoding off
>of DVD or tape and uploading to local server. Either in-perpetuity or
>term licensing.
>E. Jon Miller of First Run/Icarus has suggested a model in which an
>entire catalog of a distributor (including new additions) is licensed
>annually for a flat fee. Not aware that one is actually putting this
>model into play
>F. Content encoded and delivered to client by an outside vendor which
>does not have control or rights over the content. Annual or per-title
>service costs. Examples of this type of service is CDigix (
> <> These types of
>firms seem to be geared largely toward the delivery of content
>(including feature films) for higher ed teaching and learning (course
>reserve viewing, learning management systems, etc.). Many of these
>firms claim such use constitutes fair use or throw the issue of rights
>clearance on the shoulders of the client.
>Since I think that, at least in the short run, the models C or D above
>are likely to be the most common, I'd like to offer a few opinions about
>it. In my book, the requirement for periodic licensing of video content
>(as opposed to in-perpetuity licensing) is both impractical and
>unwarranted in terms of fair market practices. I've occasionally heard
>vendors compare term licensing of VOD content to licensing of journal
>databases and other online text resources. There really is no direct
>comparison. Journal databases, which offer indexing and full-text
>journals, are maintained remotely by a vendor and offer a content base
>which is continually growing. In some instances, online access to
>specific ejournals or aggregates of ejournals is provided at no cost if
>an institution subscribes to the print version of the publication(s).
>The licensing model for ejournals varies widely, from being on
>institutional head-count to flat fee annual licensing.
>VOD licensing is a considerably different matter. Once purchased by an
>institution, a physical tape or DVD, may be circulated or shown ad
>infinitum (or until the physical piece disintegrates) to individual
>viewers and classroom groups. If I need to show this to groups outside
>of the classroom, I can purchase PPR-a one shot cost. In most cases,
>once a distributor sells a title (or a few copies of it) to an
>institution, that's pretty much the end of that sale (except for
>replacements, and these are usually discounted). It is, consequently,
>unclear to me why I would be expected to "re-buy" the same title every
>year or two or three in digital form, particularly if I already own a
>tape or DVD of the titles in question. It's not as if digital
>distribution is cutting into potential future sales of that title to my
>institution. There is no continuing maintenance or labor cost to the
>distributor for titles licensed for VOD. (There ARE, however,
>substantial costs to the client in model D above: the institution must
>invest in technology and staff to locally-encode and serve the
>material). In fact, the cost to distributors of tracking and
>administering term licenses would seem to be substantially higher than
>the one-time gambit of in-perpetuity licensing.
>Unlike ejournal databases, the only added value to the digital product
>from year to year is the convenience of 24/7 access. (I could go into a
>long and tedious screed here about the current inferiority of
>digitally-delivered images compared to DVD or even tape, but I'll
>refrain). I have a feeling that in many cases the model of term VOD
>licensing has been put into play simply because digital sounds new and
>sexy and that period licenses sound economically safer than licensing
>the files "forever". I also think that there is yawning gap between the
>needs and outlook of video librarians vested with selecting,
>maintaining, and delivering standing collections and the needs of
>instructional tech players on campuses vested with "point-of-need"
>delivery of classroom content. (The latter probably wouldn't blink at
>the concept of term licensing).
>In any case, your thoughts and comments would be interesting and
>Gary Handman
>Gary Handman
>Media Resources Center
>Moffitt Library
>UC Berkeley
>"In societies where modern conditions of production prevail, all of life
>presents itself as an immense accumulation of spectacles."
>--Guy Debord


Name: Mark W Kopp.vcf
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VIDEOLIB is intended to encourage the broad and lively discussion of issues relating to the selection, evaluation, acquisition,bibliographic control, preservation, and use of current and evolving video formats in libraries and related institutions. It is hoped that the list will serve as an effective working tool for video librarians, as well as a channel of communication between libraries,educational institutions, and video producers and distributors.